Jailed HDP lawmakers Beştaş, Aydoğan released
This photo taken from HDP lawmaker Pervin Buldan's (C) Twitter account shows released MPs Beştaş (R) and Aydoğan speaking to the press.Two jailed lawmakers from the opposition People’s Democratic Party (HDP) were released by the courts in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır on April 21.
HDP Diyarbakır deputy Nursel Aydoğan and Meral Danış Beştaş, another lawmaker from the southern province of Adana, are being tried over terror charges.
The Diyarbakır Fourth Heavy Penal Court ruled for the release of Aydoğan on condition of judicial control.
Aydoğan, who participated in the hearing from the prison where she was being held in Istanbul’s Silivri via the voice and video informatics system (SEGBİS), denied all charges against her in the indictment, including “being a member of an armed terrorist organization,” “making a terror organization’s propaganda,” “praising crime and criminals,” and “inciting people to hate and enmity.”
The prosecutor is seeking up to 103 years in prison for Aydoğan, who was arrested on Nov. 4, 2016.
Asked about “the reason for her participation in the funeral of a terrorist,” Aydoğan said she “didn’t do anything to carry out propaganda.”
“Hundreds of bodies were arriving in Diyarbakır between 2011 and 2012. The owners of the funerals were people on duty in our party. I knew most of them. A majority of the people who voted for our party were demanding that we attend the funerals and express condolences. I participated in the funerals in order to defend their rights. I was participating upon the decision of the political party I’m a member of,” Aydoğan told the court.
The court subsequently accepted her request for pre-verdict release.
Another lawmaker released hours after Aydoğan was Beştaş, who also participated in the hearing in Diyarbakır Eighth Heavy Penal Court through SEGBİS.
The prosecutor seeks up to 23 years of prison sentence for Beştaş over several charges, including “being a member of an armed terrorist organization” and “inciting people to commit crimes.”
In the hearing, Beştaş, who was arrested on Jan. 30, denied all charges against her and said that some 33 days out of the 81 she spent in Silivri Prison were under isolation.
“It’s unlawful for me to sit in the suspect’s chair as a lawmaker. It’s a political operation to arrest our party’s members. These events constitute a situation that may create serious problems in the international law in the following periods. We are even 800 years behind Magna Carta law. Turkey doesn’t deserve this,” Beştaş told the court, as she also demanded her release.
The court accepted her release demand on condition of judicial control and a ban on traveling abroad.
Some 12 lawmakers from the HDP, including its co-chairs Selahattin Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdağ, face hundreds of years in jail for alleged links to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).